Saturday, 30 August 2008

Attack of the killer grouse!

After a dearth of walks these last three weeks, due to 'things' that needed doing, but also largely due to awful weather, this was the first walk we'd done for almost a month, so we were well ready for it! The weather wasn't great, very cloudy and overcast, and we expected to get wet at some point. As it was, we stayed dry all day - and had a few 'surprises' to boot!

We parked on the roadside at Bamford, and set off. Sue didn't thank me for sending us up Bamford clough straight from the car, particularly as we were not really 'match fit', because of aforementioned reasons. The track is so steep, it's almost impossible to ascend in the wet without some fall, or major slip. It's not helped that many, many motorbikers use it to practice 'scrambling'. I've seen a few of them come off as well in the treacherous conditions. Anyway, today it wasn't wet at all, and we got a great view of Win hill as we climbed.

The ubiquitous Hope cement works. Kind of ethereal in this sort of light and haze.
Not a pretty site, but a life-giver as far as work goes in the Hope valley and surrounding areas.

A view I love, looking East - all the way along the ridge from Win Hill, over Lose Hill, Back Tor, Hollins Cross, and finally Mam Tor, above Hathersage.

Yours truly, with a big smile on my face.

As we got up onto Bamford edge, there was evidence of millstone making. Not as much as on Stanage edge, but enough, if you look. The English millstone was replaced by the French ones, as theirs were finer grained and good for grinding the fashionable white flour, at the time.

Sue, perched precariously on Bamford edge with Win hill behind her. You can see the viciously steep path up to the pike, running through the trees. We once christened it 'orgasm hill' - it was all to do with the amount of heavy breathing that accompanied the climb up it!

Anything you can do, I can do better............

The heather path along Bamford edge.

Sue takes in the magnificent views from the top of Bamford edge.

After Bamford edge, we decided to 'bushwhack' over the moors to get to Stanage edge.
Sue, at this point, commented that we'd not got a really good picture of a grouse, because of how 'shy' they are - hmmm, read on.........

Doctor Livingstone I pres....oh no, it's Sue again, thrashing through the ferns.

When we eventually got to Stanage edge, we sat in an old quarry to have lunch. To my amazement, this grouse came and sat near us. I took its photo, remarking on how tame friendly it seemed to be.

Here, grousey, grousey, grousey........

To see what happened next - see the video at the bottom of this blog posting.

Anyway, she saw us off fair and square. We MUST have been sitting near her nest without knowing.
A look back along Stanage, just to make sure she wasn't still following us
(which she did for about 200 yards)

We saw this rock, which I said looks like an owl, but Sue said not!
Should've gone to 'specsavers' :-)

As we dropped down off Stanage edge, we saw lots of climbers. Some of the worlds best have cut their teeth on this gritstone before going on to greatness in the climbing and mountaineering world.

Stanage edge, from the road below.

On our way back, we passed 'Bronte cottage'. We're not sure it has any other connection, other than being close to North Lees, made famous in Jayne Eyre as 'Thornfield hall'

This new bridge over Hood brook was constructed using only local timber.
What a thing of simple beauty.

Now, not a lot of people know this (said in best Michael Caine voice), but wool is grown on trees in large quantities here in Derbyshire. There are not enough sheep, so a special strain of wool has been developed to grow wild on 'wool bushes'.
Here is an example of a crop, just before being picked.

And finally, just to finish us off, a steep set of steps back towards Bamford, and a well-earned pint in the Anglers rest.
Hope you've enjoyed this weeks pictures.

The moment the 'friendly' grouse ATTACKED!!!

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